September 30, 2005

Bortz, Deriy shine at ITA for men's tennis

There's nothing like a solid start to build confidence. Right now, the Maroons have some bounce in their stride.

Fourth-year Ward Bortz made a quarterfinal run, leading the way for men's tennis at the ITA Regional at Greencastle last weekend. Five of six singles players made it out of the first round in Chicago's first tourney of the year.

It was an impressive performance across the board for the Maroons, who will be aiming to repeat last year's feats of finishing in the top half of the UAA and qualifying for postseason play.

"It was a great start. Everyone played well," head coach Marty Perry said.

In doubles play, Bortz and second-year Sasha Deriy proved their top seeding was no fluke, winning their first three. Third-year Vivek Venkataraman and second-year Bharath Sithian were relegated to backdraw after dropping their first head-to-head, but went their next five to win the lower bracket.

Notable among the singles victors was first-year Alex Winney, who was participating in his first-ever collegiate tournament.

"I had a lot of fun," Winney said. "Not everyone played at their top level, and we're not playing as a team yet, but when the main season starts, we'll be fine."

The team hopes to be closer to that top level at the Chicago State Invite this weekend. They will be the only Division III school at the tournament.